Frequently Asked Questions
When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.
Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions and results in fewer air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.
The easiest way to find out how much you pay for electricity (and how much electricity you use per month) is to take a look at your utility electricity bill. A Heritage Solar sales representative will be happy to walk you through how to read your bill.
Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering policies differ from state to state – from Massachusetts to California to Hawaii – so make sure to do your homework ahead of time.
Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.
Solar panels absorb the sun’s energy throughout the day and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Most homes and businesses run on alternating current (AC) electricity, so the DC electricity is then passed through an inverter to convert it to usable AC electricity. At that point, you either use the electricity in your house or send it back to the electric grid.
The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in a cloudy city.
When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage.
Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.
If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.
Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 35 years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, most equipment manufacturers include warranties, and Heritage Solar will take care of the service side of these inquiries and get the system fixed up.
Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 30 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives. Additionally, businesses can depreciate the solar like a normal investment in equipment.
With Heritage Solar, there is an array of solar financing options for homes and businesses. We offer options for everyone even ones with low credit. Contact Heritage Solar for specific financing options as these vary by territory and application.
Many different institutions offer solar loans, including local and national banks, specialty financing companies, manufacturers, and credit unions. To choose the best solar loan for you contact a Heritage Solar representative for more information. All our representatives are trained in specialty financing.
If you can afford to pay your electricity bill you can afford to go solar. $0-down solar financing options make it easy for homeowners with good credit to start saving on their electricity bills by going solar.
Southerly-facing roofs with little to no shade and enough space to fit a solar panel system are ideal for installing solar. However, in many cases there are workarounds if your home doesn’t have the ideal solar roof – east and west facing roofs can still produce enough power to make it worth it.
The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use on a monthly basis, as well as the weather conditions where you live. Heritage Solar will take a look at your electric bill going back 12 months and estimate a custom-sized solar array that fits your specific needs based on annual production and usage.
Solar energy systems can last for 25 to 35 years, and it can be costly to remove and reinstall them if you need to replace your roof. If your roof needs maintenance within the next 10 or so years, you should complete it before you finish your solar installation.
In general, solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. Your system should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years with very minor (if any) maintenance issues during that period.
If you own your solar energy system, your solar house will sell at a premium: studies have shown that solar increases property values.